Opposition lawmakers praise Duterte for stance on RH law
Opposition lawmakers from the independent minority bloc on Monday lauded President Rodrigo Duterte for his stance on the reproductive health law, but criticized him for saying his blood war on drugs would be unrelenting.
In an interview after Duterte’s second State of the Nation Address (Sona), Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman, who leads the so-called Magnificent 7 bloc in the House of Representatives, said the President did not really talk about the state of the nation, but instead rambled about pushing through with the administration’s war on drugs.
“Sa mga sinabi niya tungkol sa state of the nation ang sinabi niya ay state of the nation is we have a big trouble because we live in troubled times. Maliban dun, wala na siyang ibang binigkas o nag-amplify kung ano talaga ang tunay na state of the nation,” Lagman said.
Lagman also decried the President’s justification on the death penalty by saying that criminals could no longer be reformed. The President said the country’s justice system should be based on the concept of “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.”
Lagman belied the President’s claim that the Revised Penal Code deemed the death penalty as a punitive penalty and a form of retribution.
“Ang kaniyang justification is it is a deterrent to the commission of capital crimes, and at the same time, the imposition of punitive penalty. Ito ay parehong mali sapagkat lahat ng pag-aaral sa death penalty ay it is not a deterrent to crime,” Lagman sid.
Still, Lagman, the author of the reproductive health bill during the 15th Congress, lauded the President’s plea for the Supreme Court to reconsider the temporary restraining order (TRO).
“We’re very happy with the continuing support of the President, but having said I think there is much to be desired in the implementation of the law,” Lagman said.
For his part, Ifugao Rep. Teddy Baguilat hit the President for saying in his Sona that human rights advocates had been trivializing the issue of criminality with human rights.
Baguilat said criminals could still be reformed through an efficient criminal justice system.
“We’re not trivializing the deaths of the victims of these heinous crimes by talking about human rights… Hindi ako sang-ayon sinasabi na ang criminal justice system ay retribution. Sa akin, it’s really rehabilitation,” Baguilat said.
Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano said it was the President who was trivialzing the issue of human rights, hitting him for his “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth” concept of justice.
“Sa aking pananaw, mayroon tayong universal idea of rehabilitation. Ako ay nag-agree na may pagkakataon pang magbago ang tao… Di ako nag-a-agree na dapat death penalty,” Alejano said.
Lagman agreed that the President was the one trivializing the issue of human rights.
“He mentioned that it is the human rights advocates who are trivializing human rights, but the trust is he is the one trivializing human rights, because he believes that a criminal has no humanity,” Lagman said. /atm
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